Chiefs Cheerleader Krystal “Krissy” Anderson died recently following the stillbirth of her daughter Charlotte Willow Anderson, who was born at rest..

Krissy cheered with the Kansas City Chiefs for over 100 games from 2006-2011 and 2013-2016.

A former NFL cheerleader for the Kansas City Chiefs tragically died from sepsis after giving birth.

Krystal Anderson, a resident of Leawood, Kansas, died unexpectedly last week on March 20, shortly after the stillbirth of her daughter, Charlotte Willow, “who was born at rest,” according to an online obituary. Anderson was just 40 years old.

A GoFundMe page set up to cover Anderson’s medical expenses, the cost of her memorial service, and establish a legacy fund, said that “Krissy’s journey took an unexpected turn,” during her 21st week of pregnancy when she was admitted to the hospital.

“Krissy sought out hospitalization during her 21st week of pregnancy, and despite the trauma of losing her baby girl, Charlotte, during childbirth, she fought on,” the GoFundMe page said. “Her fight with sepsis, led to organ failure, and she was placed on life support. Krissy underwent three surgeries, but the source of infection remained elusive.”


She eventually died on March 20, “surrounded by her devoted family,” the GoFundMe page said.


Krystal Anderson and her husband Clayton William Anderson on their wedding day.

Anderson is survived by her husband Clayton William Anderson, parents Bertha and Burnette (BJ) Johnson and brother Corey Johnson among other extended relatives and in-laws. She is preceded in death by her daughter Charlotte and infant son, James Charles.

“Krissy and her husband, Clayton, have touched countless lives in our community,” said the GoFundMe. “As a former NFL cheerleader for the Kansas City Chiefs, Krissy brought her energy and passion to every performance for ten seasons–she was a dynamic athlete.”


‘Passionate about women’s healthcare rights’

Besides cheerleading, Anderson also worked as a Software Engineer at Oracle Health “making significant contributions to improving healthcare, including being awarded a patent for developing software that assesses the risk of post-partum hemorrhage”.

Besides cheerleading, Anderson also worked as a Software Engineer at Oracle Health “making significant contributions to improving healthcare, including being awarded a patent for developing software that assesses the risk of post-partum hemorrhage,” and as a yoga instructor at CorePower Yoga.

“Krissy was passionate about women’s healthcare rights that went beyond her work as a software engineer for Oracle Health,” the GoFundMe page said.

Anderson’s funeral services are scheduled for Thursday at a local church in Leawood, Kansas. Her loved ones have requested well-wishers to contribute towards her legacy fund instead of bringing flowers.


“This fund will support causes and initiatives that were close to Krissy’s heart. Let’s ensure that her name lives on, not only in our memories but also in the positive actions we take in her honor,” the family said.

Kyrstal Anderson also worked as a yoga instructor at CorePower Yoga.

What is sepsis?

Sepsis can occur when the body is trying to respond to an infection. Sepsis during or after pregnancy or childbirth is called maternal sepsis. The World Health Organization says maternal sepsis “arises when the body’s response to infection causes injury to its own tissues and organs”. In most cases it is considered a medical emergency that requires immediate attention.


Kansas City Chiefs Cheerleaders ‘deeply saddened’ by Krystal’s death


As the news of Anderson’s death spread, condolences poured in from across the country, with the official Instagram account of the Kansas City Chiefs Cheerleaders, Chiefs Cheer, celebrating Anderson’s life and sending condolences to her family.

“We are deeply saddened by the recent passing of CC alum Krystal,” Chiefs Cheer said. “She was loved and adored by her teammates, fans, and strangers who were never strangers for long. After her time as a cheerleader, she continued to share her love of dance and Chiefs Cheer by serving in an alumni role on gameday, practices, and at events. We will miss her kind spirit, joyful energy, and her sparkle. Our thoughts and prayers are with her family and loved ones. We will cherish every moment we had with her.”

Tavia Hunt, wife of Chiefs chairman and CEO Clark Hunt, commented on the post, writing, “A profound loss for our team, organization, and anyone who ever crossed her path. We love & miss you Krissy. Hug Lamar & Norma for us.”

Black women at higher risk of dying during childbirth, statistics show

An uptick in maternal death rates has been noted in recent times with Black women suffering the highest rates of all racial and ethnic groups in the U.S. – almost three times the rate of white women.

In April last year, during the Black Maternal Health Week, advocates and experts raised the alarm on the urgent need for equity. Systemic racism – including historic neglect of Black and other communities of color that led to gaps in care – as well as implicit bias contribute to the disparity, experts say.

A CDC report from 2021 showed that Black women’s rates rose from 55 to almost 70 deaths per 100,000 live births. While Black women gave birth less in 2021, they still died at higher rates, according to the data.

Check USA TODAY’s extensive reporting on maternal health disparities here.

Saman Shafiq is a trending news reporter for USA TODAY. Reach her at [email protected] and follow her on X, the platform formerly known as Twitter @saman_shafiq7.



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